Ever heard the saying “you are what you eat”? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many foods nowadays, particularly convenience foods, are processed and loaded with preservatives and chemicals that tend to have long-lasting detrimental effects on our bodies. One particular system it affects is our cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels). Those who are over-weight, have high blood pressure, diabetes, or atherosclerosis (build-up of plaque/scarring in our arteries) have an increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, and even death.
Ways to prevent and treat these ailments include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and consuming foods that are low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol. Foods to limit or avoid include full-fat dairy products, cold cuts, fried food, canned and baked goods. These foods can cause hormonal imbalances that promote fat storage and inflammation putting us further into harm’s way.
Certain foods like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds contain a particular UN-saturated fat called Omega -3 which reduces inflammation in the blood vessels and protect the heart and brain. Try sautéing your ingredients in a tablespoon of olive or canola oil instead of butter or margarine. Aim to consume at least 2 servings of dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens. Eat 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy products like skim milk and low-fat yogurt. Also, aim to consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Soluble-fiber, like those found in whole grain breads and cereals, and in fruit skins and vegetables provides bulk which expands in our gut helping us feel full and prevent over-eating. It also creates a gel-like matrix in our intestines that slow down the absorption of dietary cholesterol lowering our blood cholesterol levels.
King Street Rehab is dedicated to providing balanced, heart healthy meals that will help you recover faster and prevent further illness. Our Dietitian provides personal counseling to our residents and families to customize their menus in order to provide the most nutritious meals possible. We understand the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle and we strive to educate and empower individuals to improve their well-being and retake control over their lives.